US official met with Maduro in Venezuela

Venezuela's President Nicolas Maduro speaks to journalists upon his arrival in Panama City on April 10, 2015 to take part in the VII Americas SummitA top US diplomat met with Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro earlier this week in Caracas, Washington announced, after tensions flared between the two governments in recent weeks. The meeting with US State Department Counselor Thomas Shannon occurred Wednesday, an agency spokesman said, the same day the advisor met with Venezuelan Foreign Minister Delcy Rodriguez. “It was a productive exchange and the United States welcomed the opportunity for direct dialogue,” spokesman Jeff Rathke said, referring to the talks with Maduro. Washington and Caracas have toned down their rhetoric in recent days, with Maduro saying he is open to dialogue, and Obama saying Venezuela was not a “threat,” despite the sanctions.

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